What Video Games Thought Me About Business

Yes, I’m a gamer. I’ve been playing since Pong was released, when Pac Man and Donkey Kong changed the world, and “Tom Sawyer” by Rush became the video gamer’s anthem. Even today, video games have taught me a lot about succeeding in today’s business world.

Let me start with one of the basics: Every video game is either a puzzle to solve or a variation on chess. Some games are both, like the Assassin’s Creed series. Like in the real world, you look for the best way to accomplish mission goals while planning for the future. When your kid (or you) plays Fortnite, players look for resources (the today) that will help them survive later in the game (strategy).

The team option in Fortnite is a great example of collaboration and cooperation. A lone player will have a difficult time surviving. A team-up with another player makes it easier to win. Players can trade resources and weapons, protect each other, and build forts together. Similar to what each of us does every day in the professional world. Well, not forts, but we build our businesses together. We buy supplies, create trading partners, and form alliances to everyone’s benefit.

Of course, some relationships require a little negotiating. You and the other person each want something whether it’s a simple purchase or a more grandiose venture. The games like Monopoly and Fallout teaches negotiation skills. We listen to the other person for shared interests, leave emotion out of the discussion, and look for alternatives for both to reach their goal. Everyone happy means more opportunities in the future.

Knowing all of the above will not prevent the unexpected. A zombie can jump from the shadows or an opponent perched on a roof top can spoil your game. A computer crash, power outage, or sick employee can happen just as unexpectedly. Bad things happen to good people. Are you prepared for whatever life tosses at you?

Lastly, another one of the basics: Enjoy yourself. Each of us spends a lot of hours working. Some days are great and others not so much, but the passion should always be there. If not, it’s a sign you either need a break or a change. I hope your life is filled with as much happiness, joy, and accomplishment as you can handle.

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